Tuesday, December 1, 2009

it's just been too long...

Since I last posted -- and that's only because we've been so immersed in our coffee roasting. From working to find the best green coffee available to developing the purest roast profile for each bean - we throw ourselves into the process like it's the most important part of our lives. And, for all intensive purposes...it is. Coffee is what we live and breathe (and sip, savor, explore) and if we don't totally love what we do it would show through.

We know you are discriminating consumers - we are too. I guess that's what we love about you and what makes it all worth while. If we find something that blows us away we KNOW you are right there ready to experience the same. That’s why we snatch up opportunities to sample our coffee because each and every time we do the coffee sells itself. We’re so stoked when people turn on to the Kohana Coffees – it’s like finding your ‘clan’.

Our promise is to keep on doing what we do with the hopes that you’ll do the same. Find us out there if you’re ready for a great coffee treat – we know you won’t be sorry!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fall means specialty coffee....

and that means we're out reminding folks who we are, what we sell and where we sell it. Kohana Coffee has been so blessed this past year. We've broadened our horizons and become a bit more 'main stream'. We love the restaurants, stores, websites and brands we work with - they are some amazing groups. And we love that people are finding us on the internet and buying our coffee that way.

If you see us in Central Market, Whole Foods, Breed and Co, Blue Dahlia Bistro or at Cissi's Market - please come by and sample the coffee as well as chat for a while. You know we love to talk about what we do and why we do it.

Long story short - we thank all of you out there that have been with us this far - your support is making us who we are.


Friday, October 9, 2009


Well, we're all recovering from Austin City Musical Festival '09 -- it's taken most of the week. So much excitement - so much great music - so much coffee adoration - so much mud! I have to admit it felt a bit like a small Woodstock as I watched the mud divers going at it.

Being in the Artist's Lounge was an awesome experience. Not so much just hanging out with incredibly talented musicians - but being able to treat them to great coffee that they all appreciated was our pleasure. Our favorite line was 'I heard about this amazing coffee that I had to come try' -- that, in itself, was music to our ears.

I took some video - mostly before the heavens opened on Saturday and I was fearful for my borrowed camera. It gives a festival snapshot for those that didn't get to attend - and a bit of what it looked like behind the scenes.

Thanks to our Kohana team of Nicku and Nate - they made it happen! And thanks even more to everyone who fell in love with Kohana Coffee...we appreciate you more than you know.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kohana Coffee and ACLFestival '09

I can't tell you how worked up we get each year being able to say "we're serving Kohana Coffee in the 'Artist's Only' tent" at Austin City Limits Festival http://www.aclfestival.com/

From picking out the coffees to brew hot - and selecting which coffee to cold brew, to making sure every single detail is ironed out and performed to perfection....we love every minute. ACL Festival is an icon in Austin and we all seem to set our lives on hold to experience it each year. Although the logistics of setting up vending in a field are fierce (and our hats are off to all those that do this for a living!), we love being able to turn people on to great coffee - it's just what we do. The line up for '09 couldn't be more exciting - so calling it work from our end is a bit of an oxymoron.

And to be behind the scenes with the artists....well, I think that part is self explanatory. Look for photos & posts on our FaceBook and Twitter pages - we'll try to share the love that way.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Kohana Coffee and Regional.Best.com

So many cool things coming our way!

Kohana Coffee was recently chosen as a www.RegionalBest.com vendor – you really need to know this website. It’s an artisan food marketplace, where shoppers buy direct from food artisans and producers across the country, including farmers, bakers, chocolatiers, cheesemakers and other small family-owned businesses (like us!). They’re committed to helping us small producers who champion local foods and flavors to move beyond our local markets and thrive by reaching a national audience. How great is that?

RegionalBest.com was launched by Marsha Cade of suburban Philly (originally a west Texas girl!) and Caragh Whalen of suburban Boston – both food lovers/appreciators, as well as smart, seasoned business execs, moms and entrepreneurs. To know us is to understand that we also stand behind them for these very reasons. They are also coffee fanatics which carries them ‘over the top’ in our book.

Kohana has nine coffees offered on their site; one being the brand spankin’ new Alamo Joe, created exclusively for RegionalBest (see the fun we had in the coffee naming blog below). Not only are our incredible Hawaiian selections available (Hawaiian Select, Hawaiian Prime, 100% Kona Estate and our popular signature, Kohana Blend) but we’ve added our Texas presence with Rockin’ Like Austin that’s topping the charts in the Lone Star state and the new Alamo Joe. To showcase the other growing regions of the world we’ve topped off our grouping with a lovely medium roast Kenya AA, dark roasted Kohana Panama and our wonderful decaf offering of Decaf Kohana Blend.

We're very excited to work with these women because we value what they do, both as consumers and as a vendor partner. Our hat is off - congrats to everyone on their team for a perfect idea and great execution.

Monday, September 14, 2009

You want a Texas themed coffee????

Sometimes being creative in our business comes easy - like how we blend coffees, how we talk about our passion of the specialty coffee industry or how we promote our brand. Sometimes its hard - like the other night when we were trying to come up with a name for a great new blend we have that needed a Texas themed name. That night, after brainstorming at the end of a very long day, we had it - done - off to the printer - finis. Unfortunatly there was a 'next morning' in this tale where I arrived in the office to see that our brilliant late night submission really sucked - truly - and would never work for what we intended it to be. It was a 'what were we thinking' sort of scenario.

What do we do? Our much more brilliant conclusion was to approach our friends and believe me, Kohana Coffee has some creative ones. I put the info on Facebook mid morning and had a skattering of suggestions by mid afternoon. Again, I prompted, and then the magic began. It was like a Texas tornado - ideas flying right and left, swirling at times. And they were GREAT. Ok, some of them were bad in a very humorous sort of way but more were great than bad. Eureka - after about 90 posts we had a winner.

Thanks to all that joined in the fun; Kristin Schell, Marye Audet, Stephanie Schmidt-Shipp and Steve Dean were the biggest contributors - with Marye Audet's submission ALAMO JOE being the winner. You guys were awesome - I mean it - and we couldn't have done it without you. Everyone involved is getting a sample of the new blend as a thank you!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

So much is happening on the Kohana Coffee front. We're movin' and shakin' in lots of directions you need to know about. First, as you've read before we're becoming very popular at the North Shore Country Market on Oahu - Irma and team are holding down the fort creating Kohana Coffee converts as we speak. People there love the local farm coffees and those coffees, of course, are some of our favorites.

In Austin we're finally rounding the corner of hot months (not to be confused with 'hot coffee' months) turning into more bearable 'almost fall' months. What that translates to in the coffee world is a pick up of coffee drinkers - and that makes us happy. We have lots of new crop in - expecting more - and we're ready to pass forward the great tasting coffees you know Kohana Coffee for.

Look for more information about Kohana Coffee going 'live' on several websites very soon. We'll give all the skinny as soon as we have it. Very exciting!

Oh, and if you haven't already checked out Marye Audet's blog http://www.blisstree.com/kettleandcup/ about coffee and everything that's worth noting - you must. She's been very good about reviewing Kohana Coffee - and we feel her perspective is right on. We give her big thanks for doing what's she's doing to support indy coffee roasters - and for appreciating a great cup of coffee.

Finally, and most importantly, we want to know what you think - your ideas/thoughts/feedback are food to us. If we don't have it we're guessing at what you want - and probably somewhat ineffective in that effort. Let us know - we LOVE to hear what you have to say. Also, follow us on Twitter @kohanacoffee and Facebook, there are links above that do it for you - we're giving away FREE coffee there this week. Check it out!

Coffee on!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kohana Coffee and Central Market

I’m not sure if I’ve said much about the Central Market http://www.centralmarket.com/ stores in Austin, TX, and if not it’s time I did. If you’re not from Texas you’re missing out – period. To say that each time I enter my senses awash with pleasure may sound lofty – but it’s the truth.

Central Market carries six SKU’s of Kohana Coffee in their Bulk Department and we couldn’t be prouder. Not only is CM one of Kohana’s dream stores because we personally love to shop there – but we love working with them too. They appreciate our coffee and support us as a local coffee roaster in a way that makes us feel all the effort is worth while.

If you haven’t met Christina and the bulk crew in the North Lamar store – you should. They know more about what they sell than anyone I’ve ever known. And if you’re at the South (Westgate) store tell Janie and her bulk group we said ‘hey’. They’ve been instrumental in getting Kohana Coffee going there. These people know coffee, rest assured, they’re even taught me a thing or two and I love that.

So take the time to stop in and try some coffee they’re sampling that day. There’s a good chance it’s one of Kohana’s lineup; Brazil Fazenda Alvorada, Mexico Pluma Don Eduardo, Honduras Marcala Especial and Lamar Blend are exclusives to Central Market. Flores Bajawa and Rockin’ Like Austin are big sellers there as well.

One other thing – The Rockin’ Like Austin is so popular they’re moved it up to the Coffee Bar (North store has Lamar Blend as well)! Stop by and try them out – I promise you’ll be glad you did.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hawaiian Coffees at Farmer's Market

It’s very cool to have your product well liked – basically it says that others feel the same as you and we dig that. Recently Kohana Coffee has become a vendor at the North Shore County Market at Sunset Elementary on the North Shore of Oahu. It’s a perfect fit because we serve coffees from the local coffee farm (Waialua Estate) that people really enjoy and at the same time promote Kohana and Waialua to the local audience.
At NSCM we sell Hawaiian Prime, Hawaiian Select, Kona Estate, North Shore Blend, Acoustic Soul and Island Cacao in several different retail bag sizes. We serve the 100% Waialuan – Hawaiian Prime as a hot brew and the Kohana Cold Brew we offer over ice is the North Shore Blend. Both are becoming very popular and we see repeat customers – YES!

Our dear friend Irma Jimenez is manning the booth while we’re away – no easy feat. Everyone loves Irma so it’s an incredible match. She loves the coffee and that is infectious.

Big thanks to all that are helping make it happen – from the Austin team to strong volunteers on the North Shore (Irma, Ruth and their entourage). It takes a village, people!
Also BIG thanks to Anuhea for coming out to support Kohana and see how popular the coffees she's chosen are. Check out her calendar at http://www.anuheajams.com/ - see a show if you can, you will be thankin' us for the reco!

Friday, July 31, 2009

More on Waialua Estate Coffee

Actually being on a coffee farm, surrounded by coffee plants filled with 'soon to be ripe' cherry - is a site to behold and excites us at Kohana Coffee. It's a chance for us to view the new crop while making decisions in our head of how we'll add to, change or take away from the product line we currently offer. But more importantly, it's the promise of what's ahead. If we see healthy, full plants and know of optimum conditions that took them there - we visualize how great that coffee will cup and the expressions on the faces of satisfied customers.

In the Waialua Estate Coffee fields (waialuaestate.com) we saw every example of cherry on the plant. The photo here is green cherry beginning to hedge yellow before the red of ripeness. We saw raisin - that's basically overripe cherry that's protected in it's dried fruit covering. We also tasted those coffees and marveled in the added fruit present in the cup.

Our tour and tasting was led by Derek Lanter and our group was Victoria, myself, my son - Zach, his girlfriend - Sarah Kate and a local foodie/cyclist/ Lori Barth of Sugarmillbikes.com. We learned a lot - as we always do - and came away feeling smarter about the craft we love dearly.
We love being on the North Shore - have I said that lately?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Catching up...whew!

Kohana Coffee has kept us busy in the Aloha State. We've been a lot of places and talked a lot of shop - all worthy of note - so this is my catch up time.

To start, we've had several visits with Waialua Estate Coffee http://waialuaestate.com/our-coffee.html Derek Lanter has been gracious enough to host us for tastings, cuppings (a bit more extensive evaluation of coffees we want to taste, compare, evaluate, etc) and farm tours. What this time gives is a close look at several things important to us at Kohana; a birds eye view of washed vs. naturally processed coffees, comparison of past and new crop (and opportunity to taste both side by side), and upcoming crop with continued impressive yields Derek has worked hard to bring from his coffee plants. It also gives us time to talk shop - which we always enjoy with him.
We love Hawaiian coffee and buy our infamous 100% Hawaiian Select and Prime coffees from Waialua Estate Coffee. We also use them as a highlight in our North Shore Blend, Acoustic Soul, Kohana and Sunrise Blends - be sure to check out our summer Hawaiian Coffee internet specials at http://www.kohanacoffee.com/specials.php
We thank Derek for every effort he puts into providing us these coffees - he knows his craft - and our faithful customers appreciate it as much as we do.
More to come...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Say 'Aloha' to our Hawaiian Specials

Summer means Hawaii for Kohana Coffee. This time of year we focus on our aloha inspired offerings and our relationships with our Hawaiian coffee growers. It’s the hours and effort we spend getting to know these producers and their practices that ensures the quality and consistency of our coffees.

The journey begins on the North Shore of Oahu with the Waialua Estate and their single origin premium 100% Hawaiian Coffee beans. Located on 155 acres of Arabica typica coffee plants, their rich, volcanic soil provides the beautiful surf, mountain and sea essence we search for in our cup. This is the home to our 100% Hawaiian Select and 100% Hawaiian Prime coffee beans as well as key components of our signature Kohana Blend, Sunrise Blend, Acoustic Soul, and North Shore Blend.

With the harvest season running from September to February, now is the perfect time to inspect the young beans and evaluate the upcoming crop. It also gives us valuable opportunites to learn from and strengthen our relationships with our Oahu grower partners.
What does this island of rich mountains and world-class waves offer in a cup? A smooth, medium bodied and well-balanced escape with just a hint of chocolate and pleasant, lingering after notes.
Next stop: Lion’s Gate Farm in the Kona region of the Big Island, home of our 100% Kona Estate.

As a valued customer, we’d like to show our Aloha spirit and offer 10% off of our Hawaiian inspired coffees: 100% Hawaiian Select, 100% Hawaiian Prime, Kona Estate, North Shore Blend, Acoustic Soul, Hawaiian Hazelnut and Island Cacao

Friday, July 10, 2009

Aloha from Hawaii

All work and no play makes....well, not much fun. Even though this time in Hawaii is meant to cultivate relationships with coffee growers/farmers and deepen our awareness of those coffees we're so crazy about - we're also here to foster relationships with current customers and potential new ones. We want everyone to know of the Kohana Coffee brand we're so in love with. We also want everyone to know these coffees (Kona Estate, 100% Hawaiian Select, 100% Hawaiian Prime) and why we consider them worth slowing down for.

Some of this feels like our day to day in Austin, some of it feels surreal because we're in HAWAII working. Work and Hawaii almost feels like an oxymoron...what, you mean I have to get out of the water for a call? Wait, get the saltwater out of my eyes, sand off my hands...

So we set our work hours in the early morning - trying to coincide with those working so hard in our absence at Kohana headquarters in Austin. We get as much done as we can in that window of time - and then we relax, or at least we try our best with the little ones pulling to play.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summer is Hawaii time...

If you haven't already picked up on it - Hawaii is not only inspiration to Kohana Coffee but a big part of our coffee product line as well. One of our pleasures is to offer Hawaiian coffees at affordable prices and bring what we love most to those that appreciate as much as we do. Two of those coffees are 100% Hawaiian Select and 100% Hawaiian Prime.

Fortunately, and we mean this, we're in the heart of birthplace to these two great coffees right now. Both the Select and Prime are from Waialua Coffee located on the North Shore of Oahu - a perfect location for producing world class coffee. We've had the distinct pleasure of making friends with Derek Lanter, who continues to improve these coffees with great attention to quality - which is evident in the coffees we roast and eventually cup. We'll be bringing more to you on this later.

As an added treat - the North Shore is also home to some of the most famous surf spots in the world. Even though surf is small in non-winter months we sometimes have the opportunity to see it - pictured here is a day at the 2008 Triple Crown in December - Bonzai Pipeline.

Aloha for now...


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Caffeine Junky turned Coffee Connoisseur

I used to sit in coffee shops, gulping down whatever was cheapest in order to stay awake and study. I thought that coffee was coffee, and that it was pretty much the same anywhere you bought it. When I became an intern for Kohana, I had no idea that I would learn so much about the stuff in such a short time.

After acquiring a few samples of coffee, I decided that one day a few weeks ago was as good as any day to become a connoisseur-in-training. I started using my roommate’s French press, cringing at the noise of the grinder in the early morning, then getting a big grin on my face when I would smell the fresh grounds. Heating up the electric tea kettle and standing over the press while waiting for my coffee to be ready made me feel worldly and adult. I’ve become so enamored with my new routine that my old coffeepot stands in the corner, scowling at me, dusty from disuse.

And the coffee! I would normally pour milk and three packets of fake sugar in my mug, but now find myself sipping it without adding anything and still thinking it’s delicious.
Recently, I had an opportunity to see the shooting of a four-part (was it five part?) news series in action; News 8 Austin’s Todd Boatwright came to Cissi’s Market a few weeks ago just to learn about Kohana Coffee. Sitting behind the scenes allowed me to learn so much about what actually goes into each cup. It’s not just picking a plot of land with beans on it and roasting them. It’s selecting the perfect locations for the coffee plants to grow in, roasting the beans to perfection, tasting them, and after all of that, making sure everything about the product is perfect. Piper Jones, Vice President of Operations at Kohana, taught Todd everything he ever needed to know about coffee and more. He got a crash course in what goes into an espresso shot, how to taste the coffee by “slurping” it, how to use a French press, and which desserts go best with which blend.

I can tell that as my time with Kohana continues, I will get to know coffee pretty well. I’m excited at the prospect of learning about each blend and what makes it special. And most importantly, I’m excited to drink more coffee!

-- Whitney

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We have a new Roaster!

We'd like to introduce and welcome Mieke Fonteyn into our Kohana Coffee fold as our new Roaster. She comes to us with more than a decade in the coffee industry and we love what that adds to our team.

What she loves...in her words -

-what I love about coffee is the intricacy of each cup, how every origin, degree of temperature and care of growers and roasters makes a difference in the final product.
-what I love about the industry is that life moments often happen over great cups of coffee, I am passionate about being a part of that.
-what I love about Kohana is the care we take in ensuring the purchasing and roasting to provide the best spectrum of flavor in each bag and being part of something women/locally owned and operated.
-favorite coffee = Org Ethiopian Harrar
-favorite place to drink coffee = our roasting warehouse in SATX (South Austin for those not from around here)
-love live music (especially hip hop)
-love my dog a jack Russell pug named Rocco

Welcome Mieke, we're glad you're here!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

You go Anuhea!

Kohana Coffee's spokesperson and featured artist is Anuhea Jenkins. Anuhea is a talented young singer/songwriter from Maui who's moving quickly to the top (#3 as of yesterday!) of the R&B charts with her new album - follow this link for a free download from i-Tunes or to purchase her album online. http://www.itunes.com/anuhea

We love Anuhea's style, her voice, her songwriting abilities and are thrilled to have her be the talent behind our brand. The fact that she loves Kohana Coffee makes us happy, happy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Healthy Job ~

I read a recent article from a Baltimore NBC station and discovered another perk to my job at Kohana Coffee (besides the free coffee) - recent studies show that caffeine may help prevent skin cancer (non-melanoma) and/or repair sun damage! You can choose to rub the caffeine directly on your skin or drink it – but most doctors would recommend not increasing your daily intake. Most of us surely get PLENTY of caffeine daily!

Some skin creams containing caffeine are already on the market but they’re marketed as anti-cellulite lotions. I’m sure as more research is done there will be an influx of caffeinated skin creams (or sunscreens). Until that day, I’ll be happy to pick up a Toddy maker and enjoy some delicious cold brewed Kohana Coffee this summer while I’m relaxing by the pool!
Article: http://www.wbaltv.com/womansdoctor/19494729/detail.html


Friday, May 15, 2009

Ted's Take on the Austin Chronicle's Poll results...

The results of the 2009 “Austin Chronicle” Restaurant Poll were announced today. Readers voted for Starbucks as the best coffee in Austin, followed by Jo’s Hot Coffee in 2nd place, and Honorable Mentions were given to Austin Java, Anderson’s, and Teo. The food critics of the “Chronicle” did not recognize any other coffee roasters or cafes in their award category. In 2007, Kohana Blend was selected by the critics as Best House Blend.

I think it’s unfortunate that Starbucks of Seattle should be awarded Best Coffee in Austin. Sure, they employ lots of Austinites and have convenient drive thrus, but is this really the BEST coffee in Austin? There are several local roasters in Austin producing marvelous, fresh coffee in small batches who should be given greater recognition. Micro roasters like Kohana Coffee, buy the finest specialty Arabica green coffee available and deliver it to our local customers like Whole Foods, Central Market, Cissi’s Market, Breed & Co and Blue Dahlia Bistro right after roasting. It’s fresh, it’s bought quickly, and we roast more. There’s no telling when the coffee was roasted at Starbucks. Even their bags in retail stores have expiration dates up to a year later.

Jo’s Hot Coffee is roasted by Little City, a fine small roaster with a café on Congress Avenue near the Capitol. However, unless you know that Jo’s buys it’s coffee from Little City, it’s just “Jo’s Coffee”. Why isn’t Little City one of the top coffees in the Best Coffee list? Austin Java and Anderson’s roast their own coffee too, and they are local. Mr. Anderson is the patriarch of specialty coffee roasting in Austin and deserves to be placed above Starbucks. Teo buys its coffee from out-of-town roasters (Café Piansa) and an Italian roaster (Palazzo) supplies their espresso.

I wish that the food critics and readers of the “Chronicle” were more supportive of the small, local roasters in Austin who produce what we know is really the BEST coffees in Austin. If not, the other large, corporate coffee brands who are competing against Starbucks will make next year’s Restaurant Poll results even worse: 1st Place: Starbucks; 2nd Place: McDonald’s; 3rd Place: Dunkin’ Donuts.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Kohana Guest Blogger - J'aime Mitchell, Whole Foods

Welcome to the newest addition to Kohana Coffee's Blog - our Guest Bloggers.

We have so many friends in the coffee world who's opinion we value. Our want is to put their thoughts, wisdom, insights and ideas up as frequently as we can. We hope that you, our readers, can learn to know them as we do.

We start with a very good friend to Kohana, J'aime Mitchell, the coffee/tea/chocolate buyer for the landmark Whole Foods Market in Austin. Her job is setting standards and having fun through quality retail experiences. She knows coffee - and it's been such a pleasure working with her. Sadly for us, she's off to Costa Rica soon - but we know it will be an amazing trip and can't wait for the stories she'll have to share.

From J'aime...

"Just started packing for the big summer plans: I packed my french press before realizing I'll be half a world away from my grinder... So with as much when-in-Rome gumption as I could muster, I left behind my security blanket of coffee accoutrements and settled for an extra pair of sandals.I'm looking forward to 10 weeks in Costa Rica, don't get me wrong, but this houseful of love is going to be hard to leave. I'm also going to miss the fabulous coffees coming into Austin. It's harvest season, and there are new coffees to taste every week. It's so much fun to finally have the talented roasters right around the corner; those early morning trips to Seattle and Vienna were so tedious! Anyway, I'll be on the road again for a spell which always means new cuisine to bring home. Hopefully I'll even make it down to Panama, then I'll understand where that magic Kohana brew grows! I'll make sure to learn a traditional dessert to go with it. Stay tuned... I might even share a piece... "

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Coffee Talk by Anuhea

If you haven't heard of Anuhea yet, sit tight, you will soon enough. A Maui born n' bred talented singer/songwriter just released her first album and it's screaming to the top of the lists. Check out her new vlog (link below), Coffee Talk. There are many things we love about Anuhea - her voice, her philosophy, her talent...but the girl loves Kohana coffee!!!! She's the crema in our cup.

more on the Flores Bajawa...

Wanted to mention that this lovely coffee can be found on our website http://www.kohanacoffee.com/ under the Medium Roast category or locally in Austin at Cissi's Market (bag), Whole Foods/Lamar (bag) and Central Market (both stores, bulk).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Roaster's Blog of May 6th, 2009 by Ted King


Brewed a pot of Flores Bajawa this morning at The Warehouse. Kohana Coffee is one of a few roasters offering this sensational Indonesian coffee that became commercially in demand only 5 years ago.

“Flores” is the name of the island it is from, and “Bajawa” is both the people living there, and the harbor village where this coffee grows. It was recently certified organic in the U.S. and European markets. Our supplier of Flores Bajawa, Royal Coffee of Berkeley, CA, reports that the island is inhabited by gigantic rats, Komodo dragons, and massive saltwater crocodiles. We love what that adds to the cup.

When roasting, I often think about our coffees origins and want to research these places to expand my knowledge of Kohana’s products. Coffee roasting can be a meditative practice for me. Sometimes my mind takes me to Africa, South America, or Indonesian islands as I dream about these places. What would it be like to grow coffee and live in a place like Flores? What would a Bajawan coffee farmer think about drinking his coffee in Austin if he came here?

Despite having our hands in the same bags of coffee beans, I am removed a world away from those whose coffees I roast.

Stay tuned ~


Kohana and Planet Cancer, Flamingo-a-Go-Go-Go!

Kohana Coffee was pleased to participate in Planet Cancer's Flamingo-a-Go-Go this past Saturday, May 2 at the Monarch. Alongside delicious foods from The Belmont, Whole Foods, Opal Divine's, Moonshine, and many others, we set out a choice of Kohana Blend (no one can resist our signature blend), Kohana Panama (a truly delightful dark roast that continues to win people over), and Decaf Kohana Blend (the perfect choice for decaf drinkers).
This was a party not to be missed! Besides the delectable food and drinks, DJ Manny provided fabulous music that was hard to resist! Please take a moment to visit Planet Cancer's website http://www.planetcancer.org/html/index.php. This organization truly deserves all the attention it can get- as its focus is to provide a support network for young adults with cancer. Planet Cancer provides a safe haven where its members can face the complex world of cancer together, both the serious and the not-so-serious, particularly when these individuals are supposed to be in their prime. We are proud to support this effort!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

We have a winner!

Claire Small of Austin, TX won the custom Kohana surfboard at Whole Foods Market yesterday. The contest was through the month of April, culminating with the winner chosen at our Blue Hawaii demo. Victoria Lynden, our fearless leader, shuffled the entries and hand picked Claire's name out of the 'hat'.
We had lots of entries from Austinites (and other's) making their way through the store during April as we showcased our new North Shore Blend and Island Cacao - trying to get their 'surf' on with thoughts of giant swells making their way to theTexas coast.
Claire is pictured here with J'aime Mitchell, our friend and Whole Foods Coffee Specialist, and Victoria.
Congratulations Claire and happy surfin' GIRL!

Serious coffee business

Sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do...

as was the case yesterday. Kohana Coffee gladly joined Whole Foods flagship store in it's endeavor to give back. The cause was Austin Film Festival's Young Filmmakers Program and teams from the store supported the effort by dressing up as favorite film characters. This also coincided with our drawing of our surfboard give-away contest, so why the heck not pick Elvis' Blue Hawaii as our theme???

Our intent was to showcase Hawaiian coffees (100% Hawaiian Select, North Shore Blend and Island Cacao), play with our friend's at Whole Foods and have the drawing for the custom Kohana Coffee surfboard give-away. We were front and center - and maybe we didn't look so much like Elvis gals but Cristin and I did do a mean Mary Ann and Ginger imitation. Ted, well, he looked Hawaiian - but would not wear the Elvis wig. Out of the group he was the one who left with dignity intact.

It was a fun day - the team member costumes were great....Teen Wolf was a hit. We appreciate everything Whole Foods has done for us - it's always a treat working with them.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What's up at Kohana?

Well....a LOT!

The Thrill of the Grill event at Central Market/Austin stores was great. We met so many of you there and had nothing but positive feedback to the coffees offered at the CM stores. Exclusive to CM are the Brazilian, Mexican, Honduran and specially created Lamar Blend coffees. They also carry Kohana's Rockin' Like Austin and Flores Bajawa which are big hits. The cold brew was a stand out and worked beautifully as the perfect 'iced drink for grilling occasions' offering. Check out the new display at the Lamar store - Christina Moyer is an artist when it comes to showcasing her products.

Speaking of display, we have one week left for the custom Kohana Coffee surfboard give-a-way contest at Whole Foods/Lamar. Hurry to that store and check out the Northshore Blend, Island Cacao and Flores Bajawa that are part of that end cap display - we take our hats off to the friends at Whole Foods - they have supported Kohana from the beginning and we are very grateful. Whole Foods Lamar carries a large assortment of Kohana coffees located in the local coffee section - you can see the surfboard there as well - BE SURE AND ENTER! The drawing for the contest will be held on 4/29 around 2:00pm. We'll have a full demo set up as part of the movie theme day. Kohana = Elvis's Blue Hawaii - looking for grass skirts and coconut bras.....

This weekend I'm sampling coffee at Breed & Co in Westlake. We're stoked about being there and proud to say that Breed & Co is the only local retailer of our fabulous 100% Kona Estate coffee. They also carry Kohana's Espresso Blend, Kohana Blend, Hawaiian Hazelnut, 100% Hawaiian Prime and our delicious dark roasted Kohana Panama. We'll be sampling the espresso and Kohana Blend from 11am - 3pm on Saturday, 4/25.

And finally, on Sunday, 4/26, I'll be back at Whole Foods Lamar with Victoria. We'll conduct an informative hour on coffee cupping, differences in origin, processes and coffees in general. 'Coffee Talk' begins at 11:00am in the coffee section of the store. Come be with us - we love to hear from you and turn you on to great coffees.

Look forward to seeing you soon - let's talk coffee!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

SCAA - Sunday

After arriving at the convention center early this morning – luggage in hand – one of our first stops was the WBC Espresso Bar for the ‘good stuff’. Coffee roasters and barista competitors from all over were showcased each day – pulling incredible shots, making beautiful art. It was a two-fold pull into that area – we had the coffee experience and were able to catch pieces of the competition. Champions from top countries came to match their skills against best in the world. Today, a world champion would be crowned. Victoria was completely enamored by the Japanese latte team – I think she went back 8 times….she was their favorite customer!

Officially we started our days split apart; me to a comparative cupping lab and her to a branding lecture basically showing that brand isn’t all about a logo but more about who you are and what you represent. We believe that Kohana Coffee does that – as the proof of who we are is in each cup. She also attended a lecture helping you to know who your target/audience/consumer is. We think we know you…because we feel you’re discriminating coffee lovers like us. We want to know more – what do you want ultimately, what makes a difference, what do you like and not like? As we begin to know and fully understand what you want we’ll translate that knowledge into how we do business. Got ideas? We want them.

We headed back to the competition for a quick bite and to see who was generating the most excitement. We saw Lee Jong Hoon of Republic of Korea and Michael Phillips of the USA in their final round. It’s just so amazing to see in person.

Our afternoon was spent at the Craft Roasting lab – it was Victoria’s first experience in hearing the science side of roasting as well as getting some ‘hands on’ - it requires such multi tasking – using all senses, from hearing first crack to checking color, temperature and timing to creating what you feel/know is best for that particular bean. It was good for us both to be there.
We’re on the plane home to Austin – wrapping everything up in our heads. Taking in the most important and pulling it to the front for quick implementation. We’ll let you know how it works – but for now we’re just happy to have been there and grateful it was so well organized.


P.S. GWILYM DAVIES of the United Kingdom won the 2009 World Barista Championships. Michael Phillips came in 3rd! Check it out at http://worldbaristachampionship.org/2009/

Saturday, April 18, 2009

SCAA Day Two

Another day in Atlanta and you can't imagine how much they can pack in...

We started at the International Women's Coffee Alliance Breakfast that did it's job of inspiring and connecting women in coffee from around the world. The program highlighted stories that celebrate the strength of women working to empower their lives and the lives of people in their communities. Presentations were made by Esperanza Castillo, an agronomist from Peru who's worked diligently to improve the conditions and lives of those around her from the 70's - and Vilma Ruiz from Finca Los Andes in Guatemala who inspired us by her commitment and dedication to the path she's been led to since youth. What a way to start our day.

Victoria had to exit early for an Espresso Lab and I headed towards the "Turning Industry Macro-trends into Profitable Business Building Programs" led by Torani's Andrea Ramirez. Both had good information we can bring back - the espresso lab just establishing good practice and the macro trends providing useful statistical information for decision making in this shaky economy.

We met for lunch and BEAUTIFUL espresso drinks at the Barista Competition and saw the Korean competitor wow the crowd with signature drinks. He had such a loyal following - Korean flags were flying. The tension is building towards tomorrow's final rounds.

This afternoon was spent on the trade floor for me - and an aroma lab for Victoria. We both left exhausted but full of new and useful information. Dinner at Eno, a local wine bar, proved tasty and eventful. It was a beautiful night and the walk there/back there was medicinal.

We're packed for tomorrow - ready for the final day and wrap up to SCAA 2009. It's a lesson in absorption - what you're not getting in your head you acquire through osmosis. The great thing about being here is that you're learning from industry leaders - from their lessons learned - how nice is that? Re-creating the wheel is not something I'm terribly fond of unless it's through inspiration.

Go coffee!


Friday, April 17, 2009

Biggest event of our year

Well, we're here - in Atlanta - at the Specialty Coffee Association of America annual event. Victoria and I arrived yesterday, ready to take it all in over the next 3 days. After registering and checking out the opening reception we headed to our hotel to ready for the next day.

Today after checking out the lay of the land (and where we were supposed to be - when) we headed off in different directions. Victoria headed to lectures about professional vs consumer expectations of specialty coffee and the intricate details about grinding coffee. My morning was spent cupping coffee - five flights of coffees (3.5 hours worth) - looking for differences in region, processing and overall quality. For those of you that know me - you can imagine I was reeling from the caffiene. It was a good refresher for old habits that may need changing and I hope to bring back nothing but good to Kohana Coffee's faithful followers.

Our afternoon was spent at the trade show floor - seeing latest technology, visiting with vendor partners, sampling every type of coffee/coffee product imaginable and eventually stepping out to the World Barista Championships being held at the same time. The finals are Sunday and a new champion will be 'crowned'. These baristas are amazing.

Before leaving we stopped by our friend's Coffee Kids reception. They do unbelievable work and deserve so much support from us all. Their efforts help coffee-farming families improve the quality of their lives. It's quite simple - if growers can't sustain themselves they can't farm. If they can't farm we can't buy coffee to roast and sell to you. Please do what you can for this strong group doing the right thing for us all. www.coffeekids.org

Overall, we're taking in lots and hope every minute of learning can be applied back to making Kohana Coffee the best that it can be. We'll check back in tomorrow and fill in from there...


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Giving Back

The Aloha Spirit refers to the friendly, accepting attitude for which the Hawaiian Islands are famous. But it’s also about living in the moment, cherishing loved ones and sharing with the community. With this spirit in mind, Kohana Coffee reaches out to the communities in which we are involved, participating in a variety of activities like the innovative education program with the Austin Montessori School.

Kohana U: Grounds for Education We’re proud to be working with the Austin Montessori School, providing 7th through 9th graders the opportunity to learn about business and hone essential skills in a real-world business environment.

Working with Kohana roaster, Ted King, students participate in almost every aspect of the coffee roasting business. Activities include everything from weighing green coffee and operating roasting equipment to packaging, marketing and sales. Students gain an understanding of such key business factors as yield and shrink cost; wholesale and retail pricing; and profit and loss. The program also provides the opportunity to impart awareness on such global issues as organic farming and fair trade business practices.